Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Officially Awsome!!!!!

With the patch being so good as of the last week, i had decided that after a few days of non birding things i would get to the patch early, but i was shattered so, i awoke at a respectable 10:30....
Straight out the door and into the Lickhill Birch wood.......
Through the front main enterance i started looking around. ( the way i usually bird this wood, is to walk through first, walk to the top and of the wood which adjoines moorhall meadow, have a look at the edges of the wood there, then take as much time as i want walking back through depending on the activity(it is easier to view down the slope than up it!!!), and today was no exeption)
The first walk through revelaed the flock of 60c Siskin from the garden but with about 30 added on, as the total was around 90c Birds, However i was struggling to see any Bramblings or redpolls, I reached the back of the wood, with siskins plastered in every tree, so this was a good place to be..
It was at this point that i heard a familiar call, no chance!!

Back to scanning finches, Ahhh, here is the Redpoll's, as a flock of 20c birds were perched high in one of the populars, Inlcuding a stunning male bird..

And then i heard it again, it cant be!!

It was at this point that i started getting adgitated, i was hearing the call every 10 secs or so now, it seemed to be coming from the pond, so walk back through the wood, and then there is was....

Trilling, and lots of it......

Looked up


as most of the birds were abscured i ran the remaining 50 metres to the front edge of the wood, look back and there they were, a gorgeous, stunning, amazing flock of a mindnuming 48 WAXWING!!

I rang my dad, and he came down to admire this patch 1st, feeding on a single mistletoe in the centre of a popular 50ft up the tree, They simply perched and dropped down onto the mistletow constantly for about an hour, giving their amazing trill call, with their beautiful crests and amazing charm..

What birds...

They did at one point fly to a tree in someones garden on lickhill estate but soon returned and we watched them for a further 10 minuites before a pair of buzzard flew low over the wood, and the waxwings flew off calling deep into the estate, and they wernt located after that

A short live period of amazingness on the patch.

Funnily enough, it was only 2 or 3 days before that i was mentioning reports of flocks in stourport and was saying it wont be long untill i see one on the patch, How short lived that turned out to be, and not just one, but 48!!!!!!

At a few points at least 2 Brambling were perching in the same scopeview as the waxwings, 2 major oatch bird, sitting right next to each other, it cant get much better than that.....
What a start to the day....

Monday, 21 March 2011



After the morning in the garden i headed out onto the lickhill birch wood to have a sift through the finch flock there.
I quickly located the 3 BRAMBLING still at the top end of the wood feeding in a small hawthorn, this included 2 stunning males, but as always they remained frustraitinly elusive...
However after some time a pair of the bird landed upon a larger hawthorn?? at the bottom of the wood adjacent to my feeders, where i took a couple of long range snaps/videos...
as you would expect, they are rather crap..

even though the birds were almost constantly in the centre of the bush, i enjoyed the time with them, and their brief showings....
The 60c Siskin flock was still present, as was the 20c Goldfinch, and 10c Chaffinch, a Bullfinch also was seen again.

The feeders that i put in the wood a few weeks ago, had been attacked by a squirrel ( the nut feeder only) but the fat ball feeders femained untouched ( simple nut feeders with fat balls in them), so i filled the 3 feeders with fatballs, and a nice reward came, when i was watching Blue, Great, Coal and LTT visiting the feeders i saw a large ish bird drop onto one of the feeders compared to the 'tit's', raise my bins..

BLACKCAP, and not only that a stunning male..

My first since boxing day last year.....

i took some quick footage of the bird through a bush and it quickly dissapeared.

Given another month of so i wouldnt have really tried to take a video but given it was the first have seen this year, its noteworthy...
The patch run continues........

Wednesday, 16 March 2011



With the BRAMBLING in the wood i tried to get up early, but as usual, schools holidays and all, i was not in the mood, but at 10 Am ( quite early) i got a shout from my dad going 'BRAMBLING!!!', i was drifting in and out of consiousness but heard the cry from heaven, and on with my jeans, run to the window.

Garden tick in the bag..

A female BRAMBLING was pottering about below the feeders with the Siskin and Chaffinch.

I quickly grabbed the scope, placed it in the sink with the tripod on the lowest setting ( you can only view our feeders from the window at the sink). and aimed at the Bird.

A quick rushed video of the Brambling.

it was while filming the bird that i noticed on the moniter that the bird had a ring on its right leg, which i found quite interesting, of cause i couldnt read the ring, but it is a good visual clue to see hows many birds you see.

It was only when the bird flushed to the tree, i looked at the actual feeders, and there was a LESSER REDPOLL female feeding there, after a bit it was joined by another, then another, after a good 2 hours of frenzied feeding activity on the feeders, all the birds flew off into the birch wood at around 12 to feed 'natrually'.

i then had a look at the 150 of so photos i had taken of the birds, admitidly concentrated mostly on the Redpoll flock. but here is a selection....

and now videos...

The female BRAMBLING did drop down once more before the flock flew to the woodland, and as i was on garden watch, here is the video..

And all that in the garden in 2 hours, what a morning, and then it was onto the patch......


Bittel res.....


after some buisness in kidderminster, and a check of broadwaters to see if the waxwing flock was still around failed we decided to head to upper Bittel res.

A small flock of tufted duck was on the small fishing pools but i walked past ( as i would usually do) straight up onto the causeway.

The reason for this rush..

A drake RED BREASTED MERGANSER had been seen here earlier in the morning, and on getting onto the causeway it was obvious that the bird was still there, asleap in the centre of the res.

and a stunning drk!!!!

while it was still asleap though i decided to scan the whole res and picked up 10 Goosander, 20c GC grebe, 2 Shoveler, 1 grey waggie and a marsh tit was calling behind us.

The merganser decided to swin very close to the shore as the wind picked up and my battery level fell ( forgot to charge it up), it was a race against time, get a good pic before the battery run out, 15 mins after, the diver was swimming around in front of the sailing pool 'compound', giving stunning scope views, but the strong wind prevented me from getting any sharp photos or videos.

When my camera battery ran out we decided to leave with it getting very cold by now. and i didnt want to regret my camera running out of battery if it came any closer..


Lickhill birch wood.

A male BRAMBLING was still in the wood during a quick stop off but remained quite elusive,as was a Bullfinch, the flock of 60c Siskin was still moving between the birch wood and the garden with varying numbers at both sites throughout the morning, and a stunning AD male LESSER REDPOLL.


Saturday, 5 March 2011

Patch on fire!!!!!

with the school holidays i had decided to cram in as much birding as possible so on sunday i was out on the patch doing a walk to the gadwall lake, and back via the 2 woods
On the way down to the gadwall lake it was extremly quiet although a large flock of SISKIN in the lickhill birch wood took a bit of looking through, but when i didnt pick up anything different i left but would come back after to check it out...
The large flock of Reed Bunting was still showing well at the Gadwall lake with 11+ Birds noted as they all sat on a hawthorn a few metres from me.........
stunning birds.....
But with the rest of the patch being quiet i decided to head back to the Siskin flock and what a good desision that was....
ON walking towards the flcok o could imidiatly hear Redpoll 'chi-chi-chi' ing away at the tops of the trees, and i was amazed to see 20 Odd Redpoll feeding above me......
I started scanning and immidatly picked out 2 MEALY REDPOLL, very outstanding white birds, and looking stunning at the tops of the trees, As you would expect i stayed in the area for some time and after seeing lots of finches i heard a CROSSBILL!!!!!!!
It flew over in a basic South-north direction but as i was in a small clearing i only had the bird in my bins for about 7 seconds while it flew over but it never tried to land, However a patch first, spurred on i continued scanning the flocks of birds, A Ravern flew over, as did a Peregrine, 3 Treecreeper were feeding in the wood, and after getting my fill on the bird i decided to leave but as i reached the bottom floor of the wood ( the wood is on a slope) i saw 3 birds perched in a popular type tree at the edge of the wood, i couldnt pick out any detail on them through my bins so out came the scope again and having locked onto the birds, my jaw dropped!!!!


Patch MEGA!!
2 male birds and a female,
having got a really crap video of the birds, i phoned my dad and he came down to take a look, but in the time he got there they dissapeared, but after 15 mins, 2 of the birds popped up in the same tree and i took some footage a little bit better than the last one, and just to prove there was bramblings that day here is the video...





20c Lesser Redpoll

60c Siskin

20c goldfinch

10c chaffinch

11+ Reed bunt


Wader movement!!!

with the Avocet and OYC been year ticked the day before news filtered through early morning that a black tailed godwit had been seen on the flashes we decided to head down there via a couple of flocks of waxwings..
1st stop ws Broadwaters in kidderminster where a large flock had been seen early morning, but by the time we got there only 4 birds remained, But still, its still 4 of my favorite birds.....
we watched them for 15 mins from the car park opposite the chip shop, when they flew further up sion hill and we left for finstall....
However while we were driving along i sudgested we dropped into HURCOTT POOL, as a bittern had been present there a few weeks previous, Needless to say 20 minuites later, we returned to the car, bitternless with only 2 Marsh tit.

so onto Finstall and the flock of 30 WAXWINGS, all of which shown superbly on a rowen tree there, but the birds were quickly flushed (accidently may i add) by a homeowner and after 20 minuites they did not return so to upton warren.
ON ariving at the flashses i was told that the bird had not been seen, But after about an hour the bird gave up its position, and jogged along the east shore of the flashses before flying to the field to the south of the flashses where it remained out of view behind the reeds for some time, But did pop out a few times with its accompanying curlew....
The pink footed goose flew over with the greylags going south, and the 1st winter Drk WIGEON was still grazing the shore and the AVOCET was still asleap


Upton warren

With the distant views of the pink foooted goose from the archery field at the flashes i decided ti have a look from there again, but was supprised when i reached the brow of the hill to find the flock of greylags feeding about 40 metres away, and with the flock was the PINK FOOTED GOOSE.......
I took a few videos and pics and slowly walked away from the birds and down to the flashes.

We were greeted by the sight of a returned AVOCET, only 1 so far but a great bird to watch...

i looked in the lapwing flock at the back and there was a WIGEON. and after a bit of watching the bird it flapped its wings, showing it lacked white patch's pointing to the fact that the bird was a 1st winter.......


PInk footed goose

3 Shelduck

2 Gadwall


1 OYC (moors pool)



Tuesday, 1 March 2011


A day of school had me and andy checking SUP, But other than a massive flock of 40 GOOSANDER (13 drk) there was little about, i believe this is the highist count of goosanders i have ever had a sheep, so quite pleased, andy did take a few photos with his camera, but they were all crap, so once again no photos.
31 pochard was also a decent flock....

Pink foot again!

A drop into the moors was quiet, so i decided to walk to the sailing pool via the education reserve...
all was quiet, but then i got to the corner of the sailing pool that overlooks the fields where the geese are. and after a bit of scanning, i had the PINK FOOTED GOOSE again with 20c greylag... it was getting dark now, so i turned back and as i turned around spotted a LITTLE OWL flying of the farm building, i had it in the bins for about 10 secs before it dissaperared behind the 'eddy'
and that was about it tbh...


A large flock of waxwing had been reported on the opposite side of kidderminster and within 15 mins we were there walking the area...
we had just seen 5 Birds just around the corner on the way to twitch these birds...
Needless yto say an hour later, the unhappy face was back, another large scale dip on waxwing, however 5 birds was nice compensation....

So with about an hour or 2 left of daylight we headed to upton warren moors pool..
the evening was all quiet really. but a nice chat was had with the biking birder, Gary prescott, about his travels over the country last year.....
It was nice to meet garry again...
But at around 5:10pm just as it was getting dark, a superb flock of 10 GOOSANDER dropped onto the moors pool.....
Yes, so i hear you say, but this birds is usually only in its one's and two's at upton, and this transpired to be THE LARGEST FLOCK OF GOOSANDER EVER OBSERVED ON UPTON SOIL, flyover flocks included, there was 2 drakes in the flock and the rest were female..
1 Sprawk
13 Curlew...